Q&A with 40th Round Pick Ted Serro

Serro is considered a late-round sleeper

The Toronto Blue Jays selected pitcher Ted Serro in the 40th Round of the 2006 draft this week. Serro, coming out of a small school and division, is considered to be one of those late round sleeper picks. Find out what pitches the right-hander throws, why he views himself similar to Roy Oswalt, and why he was hoping to be drafted by Toronto.

InsideTheDome: Basically, your thoughts on being selected by the Blue Jays and what were your emotions on draft day?

Ted Serro: Being selected by the Blue Jays has been my greatest baseball achievement to date. I'm glad that it was with the Blue Jays as well. Every scout that I talked with in the organization was always straightforward and honest with me, giving any information to me straight and giving me every opportunity to display my talent. On draft day itself however, I was a wreck. On day one a good friend of mine was selected in the 7th round by he Astros (Dave Qualben) and after the excitement of watching him get drafted set in, the waiting game for me took its toll. I would not want to go through rounds 18-39 ever again, but would relive the feeling of the 40th every day of my life. It was something I had worked towards since the end of my season last year, and to be able to achieve it, was a testament to how hard I had worked, how much my coaches around me worked, how hard the team worked, and most importantly how much my parents worked and supported me. Being able to play a sport for a career is something that I do not take lightly, and place in the highest regard.

InsideTheDome: To give the Jays fans a better idea about yourself on the mound, what pitches do you feature in your repertoire, how hard do you throw those pitches, and which pitch do you consider to be your best or your strongest?

Ted Serro: My repertoire consists of a 2 seam fastball (86-91 MPH), slider (79 MPH), change-up (77 MPH), and a forkball (77 MPH). My strongest pitch by far is my fastball. Its movement allows me to freeze hitters, set them up, or get them chasing. I always work off my fastball for success. Any given day I can change my pitching style depending on what's working in the zone, but my fastball is always there.

InsideTheDome: As you enter professional baseball, is there one aspect of your game that you want to work on or tweak to get yourself better on the mound?

Ted Serro: One aspect that I will work on and get better at will most certainly be my consistency. I'm considered wild in the zone. So locating pitches in and out consistently will be a great challenge for me, one that with hard work I can certainly conquer.

InsideTheDome: Did you enter the draft last year as a junior and if so, were you expecting to be drafted last season?

Ted Serro: Last year as a junior I did not enter the draft. I had a breakout season in my junior year and did not receive any attention from scouts due to our schools size and Division until my last start of the year. This late exposure however gave me the idea that I could play professional baseball and is ultimately the reason why I ended up where I am now.

InsideTheDome: What would you say is the strongest aspect of your game on the mound?

Ted Serro: My strongest attribute on the mound is the mental side of the game. Tenacity with focus on the mound is something every pitcher needs and luckily I have developed both of those skills. My first college pitching coach, Jeff Swarr, instilled in me the mind set that you must "know what you can control" when pitching. So when pitching its not who I'm facing but more executing individual pitches one at a time, and that is a great mindset to have. It forces you not to press in pressure situations, keep your head about you, and allows you to recognize when your losing your focus.

InsideTheDome: Is there a pitcher in the major leagues that you model your game after or view yourself similar to?

Ted Serro: The pitcher I would say I resemble most would be Roy Oswalt. More on the body side of things our motion is relatively similar if you take away arm slot, so I like to watch where he generates power. Emotionally and mentally I model myself after Don Mattingly. He always played the game with class and was always learning or teaching, and I appreciate watching him as a young kid for teaching me that.

InsideTheDome: Did it come as a surprise to you that the Jays drafted you? Did you talk to them before the draft, and did you get a sense that they could be the team to draft you?

Ted Serro: It didn't surprise me that it was the Jays who selected me. They were the only pre-draft workout that I was invited to. While a few other teams had displayed interest and put me on their draft board my experience in Toronto gave me the idea that they jumped up to No.1 on my list. It probably came as a surprise to some people around me as the Jays had seen me the least out of teams considering me. But after the pre-draft workout, they had a good feeling for the kind of pitcher I am, and I felt like I left a good impression.

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